29 June 2018

A century and a half of
Victorian brickwork on a
street corner in Limerick

21 O’Connell Street, Limerick, has interesting polychromatic red-brick features (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018)

Patrick Comerford

The Official Tourist Office at 20-21 O’Connell Street, Limerick, is part of the Fáilte Ireland tourist office network in Ireland, where staff offer visitors information on places to go, things to do, where to stay, tour bookings and what’s on locally and nationally.

These include places of interest along the Wild Atlantic Way, the treasures in the lakelands and the exciting activities and events in towns and cities.

The building stands on the south-east side of O’Connell Street, at the corner of O’Connell Street and Thomas Street. Despite the modern shopfront at the ground floor level, this building is a place of architectural interest in Limerick because of its polychromatic red-brick features, including the vitrified brick lettering with the date AD 1867.

This gable-ended, three-bay, four-storey polychromatic red brick building, is dated 1867. The building rises above the buildings beside it with an interesting five-bay third-floor level.

The red-brick front elevation is laid in Flemish bond with a diagonal brick cornice and vitrified brick courses at sill levels and at the level of the springing of the first floor window arches.

The vitrified brick lettering at the window piers on the first-floor and second-floor level reads: ‘AD 1867.’

The vitrified brick lettering reads: ‘AD 1867’ (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018)

The painted, brick north-facing side elevation has unpainted vitrified brick stringcourses.

There are segmental-arched window openings with red and vitrified brick arches, red brick reveals, flush vitrified brick sills, and one-over-one timber sash windows with ogee horns.

There is a pitched natural slate roof with a large brick chimneystack at the south gable that has a corbelled pointed-arch detail. There are corbelled brick eaves to north gable, and moulded cast-iron rainwater goods on the polychromatic corbelled eaves.

The polished granite shopfront dates from around 2000, and has an over-wrought steel-framed glazed canopy.

The elegance of this red-brick building makes an interesting contrast with the pretty and diminutive single-bay, two-storey No 22 next door.

This is a terraced single-bay, two-storey building, built around 1900. Here fluted full-height pilasters are joined by a plain rendered band at the parapet level, and there is a modern timber shopfront at ground floor level that dates from about 1990.

The round-arched window opening has a rendered reveal, painted sill that is possibly replacement, and a 1950s timber casement window.

This building has a pitched artificial slate roof that is hidden behind the parapet wall and its cast-iron cresting.

Leonidas at No 22 O’Connell Street, Limerick, is diminutive and pretty (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018)

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